Kansas State Wildcats

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Kansas State officially announces Iowa’s Gene Taylor as new AD

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After several weeks of searching, Kansas State has a new athletic director.

The Wildcats confirmed reports on Friday that the school has hired Gene Taylor to be the new AD, replacing John Currie after he left for the same position at his alma mater of Tennessee.

“My family and I are truly honored and thrilled to join the K-State family,” Taylor said in a statement. “I would like to commend Amy Button Renz and the committee for conducting what I believe was the most professional and detailed search I have ever been a part of, while also being extremely appreciative to President Myers for his leadership and confidence in my ability to lead this athletics department at such an outstanding institution. I also would like to thank Laird Veatch for his time as Interim Athletics Director, and I know people think highly of him and his service to K-State.

“We are excited to get to Manhattan, and I look forward to meeting our student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters and helping them build upon the across-the-board success that K-State has attained.”

Taylor heads to Manhattan after serving the past three years at Iowa as the Hawkeyes’ deputy athletics director.

While 58-year-old played a vital role at Iowa the past few seasons, he is most well-known for helping turn North Dakota State into a powerhouse at the FCS level.

K-State hires one defensive coach, promotes another

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An offseason of adjustments to Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State coaching staff continues, this time on the defensive side of the ball.

K-State announced late Tuesday morning that Snyder has hired Jon Fabris as his defensive ends coach.  This will serve as Fabris’ second stint in Manhattan as he spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons with Snyder’s Wildcats.

“Jon is a quality person, dedicated husband and father as well as a dedicated leader and teacher of young men,” Snyder said in a statement. “He has a proven record here at Kansas State. He will again be an asset to our defense and to Sean with our special teams. I’m pleased to have him back with us.”

Fabris fills the hole created by the departure of Mike Cox, who left last month as K-State’s linebackers coach to spend more time with his family.

In addition to Fabris’ hiring, the football program also announced that Blake Seiler will take over as linebackers coach.  Seiler was also promoted to co-defensive coordinator in what likely completes the shuffling of Snyder’s 2017 staff.

In mid-February, Del Miller announced he was stepping down as the Wildcats’ quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator.  One day later, former K-State quarterback Collin Klein was announced as Miller’s replacement.

Bill Snyder back to work at Kansas State after undergoing cancer treatment

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To absolutely nobody’s surprise, ‘The Wizard’ is back at work and sticking to his routine.

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year but told reporters on Tuesday that he has completed treatment and is returning to guide the Wildcats through spring practice.

“I’m finished with all the treatments, just kind of going through the after-effects now. Then you get tested again down the road, a few months,” Snyder said, according to the Associated Press. “I think the hardest part is the after-effects that come with it. That’s what we’re going through right now. But millions of people have done it.”

Snyder, 77, is set to begin his 26th season in Manhattan as head coach of KSU and seems to show no signs of stopping anytime soon despite the recent health scare. The Wildcats are set to make some noise in the Big 12 this season with the bulk of last year’s nine-win team back and a favorable schedule throughout 2017.

Kansas State has already begun practice and are set to hold their spring game on April 22. Luckily for the team (and all college football fans), the familiar sight of Snyder roaming the sidelines in his windbreaker will continue for the foreseeable future after Tuesday’s announcement that the long time coach has wrapped up his cancer treatment.

College football spring games: Dates, TV times

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As the calendar flips from March to April, the rush of college football spring games commences in earnest.

On the Power Five side alone, there are nearly 60 spring games scheduled to be played in the month of April.  Last year around this time, Urban Meyer was urging Ohio State fans to show up en masse; the Buckeye faithful responded with a record-breaking turnout.  That six-figure record should be safe — maybe.

Channeling his inner Urban, James Franklin earlier this month very passionately challenged fans to attend Penn State’s spring game to showcase to recruits and the rest of the country that “football is a very, very important part of Penn State.” Texas seemingly has momentum, what with Tom Herman replacing Charlie Strong as head coach, and that hire could cause a spike in interest and spring butts in the seats.  Clemson, coming off its first national championship in three decades and with some question marks given key departures, will certainly see a surge in attendance, although the official seating capacity of 81,500 at Memorial Stadium would preclude them from doing anything other than (barely) cracking the Top 10 in all-time spring game attendance.

Alabama historically fares well in spring attendance — four of the Top 10 — although the last huge crowd was six years ago.  Coming off the first title-game loss under Nick Saban, don’t expect a big jump this year either.

With those storylines in mind, below is the complete slate of spring games for the next four-plus weeks.

FRIDAY, MARCH 31
Arizona, 9 p.m. ET

SATURDAY, APRIL 1
Northwestern, 11 a.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
South Carolina, noon ET (SEC Network)
North Carolina State, 1 p.m. ET
Michigan State, 3 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Texas Tech, 4 p.m. ET

FRIDAY, APRIL 7
Florida, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 8
Ole Miss, noon ET (SEC Network)
Purdue, 1 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Auburn, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Iowa State, 2 p.m. ET
Oklahoma, 2 p.m. ET
Texas A&M, 2 pm. ET (ESPNU)
Clemson, 2:30 p.m. ET
Florida State, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
North Carolina, 3 p.m. ET
Wake Forest, 3 p.m. ET
Mississippi State, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
TCU (time still to be determined)

THURSDAY, APRIL 13
Indiana, 7 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

FRIDAY, APRIL 14
Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 15
Ohio State, 12:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Louisville, 1 p.m. ET
Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. ET
Utah, 1 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
West Virginia, 1 p.m. ET
Kansas, 2 p.m. ET
Missouri, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Nebraska, 2 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State, 2 p.m. ET
Texas, 2 p.m. ET (Longhorn Network)
USC, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Stanford, 4 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Arizona State, 5 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21
Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. ET
Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Iowa (time still to be determined)

SATURDAY, APRIL 22
Syracuse, 10 a.m. ET
Boston College, noon ET
Maryland, 12:30 ET (Big Ten Network)
Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m. ET
Baylor, 1 p.m. ET
Cal, 2 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Georgia, 2 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Kansas State, 2 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech, 2:30 p.m. ET
Alabama, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Penn State, 3 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Washington, 3 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Tennessee, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Rutgers, 5 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Washington State, 5 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
LSU, 8 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

SATURDAY, APRIL 29
Arkansas, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Oregon, 2 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Virginia, 3 p.m. ET
UCLA, 4 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

*Neither Miami nor Michigan will conduct traditional spring games.
*Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Oregon State and Vanderbilt played their spring games in March.

K-State’s LBs coach leaves ‘to focus more on family’

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For the second time this offseason, Bill Snyder has a hole on his coaching staff to fill.

Kansas State announced via a press release earlier Sunday that Mike Cox will not return to the Wildcats for the 20117 season.  Cox had spent the past five seasons as K-State’s linebackers coach.

In a statement, Cox cited a desire to spend more time with his family as the reason behind his decision to leave Manhattan.

“I appreciate the time I have spent at K-State coaching and mentoring so many great young men, but it’s time for me to step away and focus more on my family and my children,” said Cox. “I look forward to following the Wildcats next season and for many years to come.”

“We are grateful for what Mike has done for our program and young people and respect the decision he has made to spend more time with his family,” the longtime head coach said in his statement.

In mid-February, Del Miller announced he was stepping down as the Wildcats’ quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator.  One day later, former K-State quarterback Collin Klein was announced as Miller’s replacement.